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Are Your Scaffolds Safe for Christmas?

12th December 2014

The construction industry is looking forward to a well-earned break after a far more buoyant period than the previous 6 years or so.  Consequently, there are likely to be far more scaffolds standing over the Christmas period so it is crucial to consider how they can be protected and secured. 

To ensure scaffolds do not deteriorate in the time between the last inspection and the first inspection after the Christmas break it is important that they are left in good condition.  It may be necessary to secure all boards or temporarily remove any other items that could become detached by, for example, high winds.

Access to standing scaffolds should be prevented by physical means (i.e. removal of ladders or locking of stair towers etc) and warning signs should be posted, advising that the scaffold is unsafe for use.

The inspection requirements of the Work at height Regulations 2005 are well known, but the requirements of Regulation 28 of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 are not so well known.  This states, “All practicable steps shall be taken, where necessary to prevent danger to any person, to ensure that any new or existing structure or any part of such structure which may become unstable or in a temporary state of weakness or instability due to the carrying out of construction work does not collapse.”

With this in mind, it is important to note, that if any event occurs which could cause deterioration of the scaffold (the recent UK ‘weather bomb’ is a good example), then inspection may well be required and it may be necessary to re-open a closed site to check the integrity of the scaffold.

Simian Risk can help with advice and inspections, find out more here  >